I love going to our state homeschool convention every year - love to browse, love to look at all the curriculum and love the seminars.
Here are some tips I’ve collected over the years that may be helpful to you at convention time!
Make a list – There is so much to see and do, its easy to get carried away and spend too much money. I have a list for each child based on what we want and need next school year. I take a notebook and write down things I see that I want, but dont need, at the end of convention if I have money left over I go back and check out what I wrote down as a want and decide if its something we would really use or just something I would purchase and sit on my bookshelf.
Take along a crate with wheels, bag with wheels or a strong husband - A back pack works well too. Books get heavy if you carry them around all day and it can be a long walk back to your car. Bring something along to keep your purchases in. Many stands also have freebies – pencils, pens, tablets, ect. Its nice to have a bag to throw them into. My kids love the little tokens I come home with from convention.
Take return address labels – Most stands/vendors have mailing lists. You’ll save time by sticking an address label on instead of filling out all your info. Some stand also have contests you can enter, address labels work great for this too.
Take a notebook – I do this to write down things I may want but were not on my list. I either wait until the end of convention or I keep my list and look for things elsewhere – like a used book sale or add it to my Christmas list. I also like to have paper to take notes during the seminars. Some give handouts, which I love, but many dont. I also keep notes about things I need and which vendor has the best price.
Plan your day ahead of time – I keep a print out of where certain vendors are that I’m looking for, a list of speakers and where the seminars are located. I have these highlighted on my convention form. We also will stop for lunch about an hour before the lunch hour to avoid wasted time by standing in long lines. Seating can also be limited then too.
Shop around – Dont assume every vendor will sell the same item for the same price. I dont buy anything my first "trip" around the convention. I like to check everything out, especially the used stands and get the best deal. It can take more time looking in the boxes at used book stands, but if you purchase a book for half the normal price, totally worth it!
Take the time to look at your purchase, ask questions and make sure its what you want. Thats another great part of convention – being able to check things out first hand.
For more information about the PA convention click the link – http://convention.chaponline.com/